Meet Philip: For almost 19 years now, the industrious and ingenious Philip Perrine has found himself working in every corner and cranny of our workshop. With a degree in sculpture from world-renowned VCU Arts, Philip has cut, welded, bent, finished, packed, mentored, and even curated a few craftsperson art shows during his tenure at McKinnon and Harris. Currently, you can find Philip at the center of Research & Development, in what he calls his mad scientist laboratory in our Richmond workshop. Enjoy a glimpse into Philip’s world!
What is your favorite piece of McKinnon and Harris furniture and why? It’s one of our oldest pieces, but I’d have to pick the McNeill chair. It’s deceiving because the design appears simple, but it requires a concentrated series of highly complex bends that must be done by hand. Lots of folks can bend metal with a machine, but a machine can’t feel or understand the subtle changes in the metal.
How do you express yourself creatively outside of the workshop? I’ve taken a break from building custom hot rods, and right now I’m setting up to make figurative and objective steel sculptures. I've got lots of ideas in my head!
There a few things that you always have with you - what are they? I always have a tape measure and a multi-tool on my tool belt, and chalk in my pocket. The tape measure always draws some odd looks from folks when I’m not at work, but it’s easiest to always keep it with me. The chalk is great for sketching out ideas and drawings on the shop floor...or on the sidewalk after dinner.
What book is on your nightstand? Integrity by Henry Cloud. I had thought I had integrity until I got a better understanding of what it is.
You’ve had quite a few roles here. What is your favorite? I guess it would be bending - going back to the McNeill chair that I like so much with its multiple curves and bends. Bending is my favorite because it allows me to really utilize the skills that I have.